How to Make a Lightroom Photo Book (Fast and Easy!)

How to Make a Lightroom Photo Book (Fast and Easy!)

Inside: Video tutorial and detailed instructions on how to make a Lightroom Photo Book in minutes!

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How to Make a Lightroom Photo Book

Not to be morbid, but let’s imagine your family 60 or 70 years in the future when you’re gone (or perhaps very old).

“Remember our trips to the beach?” your grown son says to his siblings.  “We built sand castles and played in the tidal pools.  Such great memories…” 

“Mom took some amazing photos.  I remember how much I enjoyed them on her phone.  She loved to take photos – photos of us.  Man, I wish we had them now.

lightroom book templates

Your grown daughter chimes in, “Oh yeah, remember how we used to set off fireworks on the beach at sunset?  Dad would let you boys light them. You begged him to buy fireworks every year.”

lightroom book tutorial

“I know we had some great photos of that.  Mom took such good photos.  She poured her heart into her photography.  Sure wish I could see those photos now,” she sighs. “We should’ve gotten her cloud password before…”

Ask yourself this: in the future…

Will your kids have your cloud password or the hard drive where all your photos are stored?

What if technology changes? Will your old photo files be unreadable on new technology?

Would your kids think to transfer your photos to their own storage system?

How tragic for our photos to die a digital death on a corrupted or outmoded hard drive, or to be lost with our cloud password.

Printed photos are a beautiful memento you can send with your kids into the future, and the best way to ensure all your photographic memories are accessible down the road.

I want to leave my kids with tangible, printed memories of their childhood. 

Here’s the Key

In the past, I’ve printed my images as individual 4×6 prints.  But I’ve since switched to albums because when I create extra steps for myself I increase the likelihood it won’t get done.

Ask me how many years of 4×6 images I have stored on my shelf waiting to be put in albums.  Ugh.

When you have kids, you must avoid extra steps.  You need a simple and streamlined process for your photos – from upload to print.

A Blurb Photo Book is the Answer!

Lightroom has a built-in photo book function.  It integrates with an album company called Blurb. Some initial setup is needed before you create your first book, but once you’ve done it, future albums will be super easy.

My photo books aren’t elaborate. I don’t add text and I use the same layout every time. The goal for me is DONE, and fast.

I’ve been so happy with my Blurb books and my kids LOVE to look through them.

Follow my Lightroom Photo Book Tutorial to get started:


Step 1: Organize Photos with Keywords

I use Lightroom to organize and edit my photos.

After I edit a photo in Lightroom’s Develop Module, I switch over to the Library Module and toggle open the Keywording tab and give my image a keyword.

For the photos I want in my 2018 album, I add the keyword “2018 Album.”

Lightroom photo book

As I add this keyword to images I edit throughout the year the number of images on the keyword list grows.  

When I want to see all the images with a keyword at once, I go down to Keyword List.  I click on the small arrow beside my keyword “2018 album” on the right.  This brings up all the images I want in my album in one click!  Brilliant!

lightroom book tutorial

Next, I click over to the Book Module to lay out my album.

Step 2: Create Your Album Layout

Inside the Book Module you’ll see all your photos at the bottom, ready to be put into your album.

Lightroom photo book tutorial

Book Module Settings

The book module will auto-fill your book with the photos you’ve selected.  If you don’t want it to do this, go to your computer’s menu in Lightroom and choose Book – Book Preferences.  Uncheck “Start new books by autofilling.”

Now we will do a little setup. This will save you so much time down the road.  

Your future photo printing self will thank you for this.

Here are the steps:

1.  Click on the Book Module

2.  Under Book Settings, choose “Blurb Photo Book”  I recommend the Standard Landscape book with a hardcover for durability.  If the price worries you, you can choose a soft cover, or join Blurb’s e-mail list.  I order when they run a 40% off sale.  Check out Blurb’s paper, cover and format options.

Lightroom book tutorial

3.  Under Auto Layout, click Clear Layout

4.  Click on the dropdown menu beside Preset and click on Edit Auto Layout Preset

Lightroom photo book tutorial

5.  Here’s where we get choose the album layout. You have multiple options.

I always go for simple. I’ve created a layout preset with one large photo on the left and 2 smaller photos on the right.  

I like the aesthetic of the two photo option because it’s large enough to showcase the photos and they’re horizontal, which is how I shoot most of my images.

But if I had a ton of photos, I would choose 4 per page to keep costs down.  

A Blurb photo book must have a minimum of 20 pages, so if I didn’t have many photos I would choose a one photo per page layout.

Choose the layout you like best, but whatever you choose, keep it simple. 

Remember, DONE is better than PERFECT. I recommend the settings below:  

Lightroom photo book templates

Give your layout preset a name before you click DONE.

Step 3: Fill Your Blurb Photo Book and Make Adjustments

Select the preset you made from the drop-down menu, and click on Auto Layout.  Your Blurb photo book will fill in seconds!

Lightroom photo book tutorial
Lightroom photo book template

If you want to make any adjustments to your album you can.

If you want to switch out any photos, it’s easy. Drag up a different photo from the filmstrip and drop it where you want it.  

Click on individual photos to adjust the zoom or crop.

Click on the circled options on the bottom left (see above screenshot).  This will allow you to see the whole album, one spread, or one page at a time.

    And Your Blurb Photo Book is Done!

    Lightroom will sharpen and optimize your images for your album.  What a tremendous time saver!

    You can save the photo book and wait to print it later (in case you want to wait for a sale) or go ahead and upload it to Blurb.

    Overheard 60 Years in the Future…

    Your grown daughter sighs with happiness as she flips through an album from 2018.

    “These photos take me back to the beach.  The sand, the wind – the LOUD fireworks.  Mom loved us so and she loved to capture our childhood.  It means so much now.  I treasure this album.” 

    Be the mom who leaves her kids tangible memories of their childhood.

    Blurb Photo Book Video Tutorial

    Watch this video to see how fast and easy it is to create a Lightroom photo book.